SHARJAH, UAE — A Ukrainian marine engineer convicted of manslaughter for the death of a Kenyan diver is appealing to Russians at home and abroad to help him raise Dh200,000 (about US$73,000) for “diya”, blood money, and a Dh6,000 fine.
Alexander Martsiokha, 42, second engineer on the supply ship Orel, has been looking for help to pay blood money to the family of R.N. Abdul Qader, who died on June 12, 2008 while performing maintenance work on the ship’s propeller shaft while it was docked in Sharjah’s Hamriya Free Zone.
“I’m very sorry for the death of the man, who I know has two children. I feel for them as I am also a father of two,” said Martsiokha.
He said the accident – which took place when Martsiokha started the main engine – was not solely his fault as he was ordered by the chief engineer to start it not knowing Abdul Qader was still working astern.
On October 16, 2008, a Sharjah court ordered him to pay Dh200,000 in blood money and Dh6,000 for manslaughter.
Lack of information
“Due to incomplete and inaccurate information and the lack of a translator [during court hearings], all responsibility was laid on me. I am not in a position to pay the amount. I cannot get a job as I don’t have my documents. My wife in Ukraine earns just $120 (Dh440) a month. I have a son who goes to university and an eight-year-old daughter.”
Martsiokha started working for the Sharjah-based Whitesea Shipping Company and Supply LLC in March 2007. “I haven’t seen my family since then. I want nothing more than to be home with them,” said Martsiokha, who currently stays at the company’s accommodation inside Hamriya Free Zone and goes out of the free zone only when he obtains a shore pass to go to court.
Ruslana Hasanovna Nefyodova, the Consul General of Ukraine who is based in Abu Dhabi, said: “For the last one year, we have extended all the help we can give to Martsiokha.”
Two weeks ago, his compatriots also tried to collect money through online forums. “I can’t see any other way out of this situation than to ask you, my friends, to help me. This is an SOS!” he said.